The Man Who Laughs 1928 is based on Victor Hugo’s novel about a disfigured performer in 17th century England who struggles with his identity, class, and love.
Release date: 27 April 1928 (NYC Premiere), 4 November 1928
Director: Paul Leni
Cast: Mary Philbin, Conrad Veidt, Brandon Hurst, Julius Molnar Jr, Olga Vladimirovna Baklanova, Cesare Gravina, Stuart Holmes, Samuel de Grasse, George Siegmann, Josephine Crowell, D’Arcy Corrigan, Torben Meyer, Edgar Norton, Nick De Ruiz, Frank Puglia, Charles Puffy
Studio: Universal Studios
Country: United States
The Man Who Laughs 1928 Review
The Man Who Laughs is a 1928 silent romantic drama film directed by Paul Leni and starring Conrad Veidt, Mary Philbin, and Olga Baclanova. The film follows the story of Gwynplaine (Veidt), a young man who is disfigured by a cruel lord and left with a permanent grin on his face. Despite his tragic appearance, Gwynplaine falls in love with a blind girl, Dea (Philbin), and the two must navigate a world that judges them based on their looks.
Veidt delivers a captivating and heartbreaking performance as Gwynplaine, bringing a sense of humanity and depth to the character despite the heavy makeup and prosthetics. Philbin also shines in her role as the gentle and compassionate Dea. The film’s stunning visuals and use of expressionistic camera techniques create a haunting and dreamlike atmosphere that perfectly complements the film’s themes.
Interestingly, the film’s visual design and makeup for Gwynplaine inspired the creation of the Joker character in Batman comics, as well as the iconic smiley face graphic used in popular culture.
Overall, The Man Who Laughs is a powerful and emotionally charged film that explores the themes of love, beauty, and identity. Veidt’s unforgettable performance and the film’s stunning visuals make it a true masterpiece of the silent film era and a must-see for fans of classic cinema.
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The Man Who Laughs 1928 Trailer
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